In response to the call and example of Christ, Yokefellow Prison Ministry of North Carolina motivates and encourages prisoners, yoked in personal relationships with community volunteers, to examine their lives; experience the forgiveness, healing and power of God’s love; and return from incarceration with a covenant commitment to, and new disciplines for, personal responsibility and contribution to family and community.
Yokefellow Prison Ministry of North Carolina is an inter-denominational, interracial Christian ministry of reconciliation begun in 1969, which includes both lay and clergy, male and female. It is founded on the idea that people’s lives are changed through committed relationships.
The ministry is conducted by trained volunteers who lead weekly meetings of small groups inside our correctional institutions. Yokefellow is not focused on worship, preaching, teaching, counseling, or Bible study, but is a ministry of listening, sharing, caring, encouragement and support provided by community volunteers from the “outside” yoked in fellowship with those on the “inside” through the weekly small group meetings.
The Biblical foundation of our commitment is the invitation by Christ our Lord in the Gospel of Matthew 11:29-30:
“Take may yoke upon you, and learn from me;
for I am gentle and lowly of heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Yokefellows (both “inside” and “outside”) accept and live by the Yokefellow Disciplines of Prayer, Scripture Reading, Worship, Money, Service, Witness and Study, as well as a commitment to the weekly Yokefellow meeting.
The objectives of Yokefellow Prison Ministry are:
- To provide an open and inviting setting for residents of our correctional institutions to examine their lives, talk about their faith and search for direction and purpose with others who are committed to do the same.
- To offer opportunities for residents to build relationships with Yokefellow volunteers in the weekly group meetings, thereby lessening their separation from the “outside world” and helping them prepare for a transition back into productive contribution in society.